You have probably heard many times, either at home, on the R.E. classes or from priests, that in order to merit salvation you have to do good deeds, participate in the sacraments, go to church, recite prayers and so on.
Compare your earlier beliefs about salvation with the truth stated in the Bible:
Every person on earth since Adam and Eve has sinned against God, that is, has deliberately violated His commandments.
Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins. Ecclesiastes 7:20 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God […] Romans 3:23
God is righteous and fair. He inflicted an appropriate and at the same time terrible punishment for sin, which is spiritual death, or eternal separation from God. Each of us who broke a God’s commandment only once, deserves punishment and the sentence is death, or damnation. If we died in such a condition, we would go to hell – a place of eternal separation from God.
For the wages of sin is death […] Romans 6:23; see also James 2:10-11
No one can pay off their debt of sin themselves in any possible way. No man is able to give God a ransom for himself. None of the religious practices, so called sacraments or good deeds, can ensure God’s forgiveness. And there is no sacrifice that man could make to God to propitiate His wrath caused by sin. God made Himself perfectly clear – the penalty for sin is death and nothing else!
And do not enter into judgment with Your servant, for in Your sight no man living is righteous. Psalm 143:2
Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. Hebrews 10, 11
To avoid the punishment you deserve, someone innocent had to pay with his life for all of your sins. Have you ever considered how much God loves you? His love is so deep that He could not passively watch you go to hell. That is why Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life in a human body and died on the cross for all our sins (which includes my sins and yours as well!)
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8
The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
God endowed you with free will. He definitely proved His love by having paid the exceptionally big price for your salvation. Now He is waiting for your decision to accept the free gift of salvation. He is looking for your positive answer because He does not want you to be condemned but redeemed, and thus to spend eternity with Him in Heaven.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20; see also Revelation 22:17
Now you know what God has done for you and that He offers you free salvation from the penalty for sin. You have got two possibilities:
EITHER: You can ignore what you have read and continue to live your life “on your own accord” or in accordance with human authorities. However, remember that by doing so you will approach a terrible end (although you may not see the red light and enjoy life to the full.)
how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? Hebrews 2: 3a
“This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far away from me. but in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.” […] Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind and if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit. Matthew 15:8-9 and 14; see also Romans 10:1-4
OR: You can believe God’s Word (namely, that you are sinful, under the threat of eternal damnation, and, by yourself, utterly unable to remedy your lost condition (Mark 2:17); that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Almighty God who came to earth to ransom you, paying the price for all the sins you committed or would ever commit (John 8,24; 14, 15 and 15; 1, 29) and you can decide to accept His gift of salvation in order to experience an inner change – a spiritual birth which guarantees you eternal life with Him in Heaven.
He knows the darkest corners of your heart (Proverbs 17:3); He sees and hears you constantly (Psalm 139:1-5); He is always by your side – He cannot be locked in a temple (Acts 17:24 and 27-28); You can address Him without any mediator (1 Timothy 2:5). So what are you waiting for?
Tell Jesus right now that you want to be with Him forever. If you like, use this example of a prayer:
“Dear Lord Jesus! Thank You for everything You have done for me. Thank You that today You have found me and helped to understand Your wonderful good news of salvation. I recognize my sinfulness and the fact that since I have broken Your laws, I justly deserve eternal damnation. I believe that You paid the full price for my sins on the cross. Thank You for this. Please, save me. Give me a new, eternal life. I invite You to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please, transform me into your likeness. Amen.”
God is faithful. His promises found in the Bible are certain to be fulfilled. Now read the following verses from the Word of God and answer the questions:
Revelation 3:20 – Where is Jesus now?
John 1:12-13 – Who are you now?
Colossians 2:13-14 – What happened with all of your sins?
1 John 5:11-13 – What kind of life have you started?
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – What is your body now? Who dwells in it?
Galatians 5:16-18; Acts 1:8 – What does Holy Spirit empower you to do?
Today you have started a new chapter in your life – an eternal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Though you may not fully understand what has happened to you, you know for sure some essential points.
The Holy Scripture compares you to a new-born baby (1 Peter 2:2).
Once you have become a God’s child, you have entered the family of His children – true disciples of Jesus (Luke 8:20-21; 1 Peter 1:22). If you do not have contact with any of His disciples, look for a church in your neighbourhood which preaches Good News about Jesus and is obedient to His Word, and get involved in it.
Get baptised (that is be immersed in water) as a sign that you do not belong to the world anymore but have started to live for your Lord – Jesus Christ.
Just before the moment of His ascension into Heaven, Jesus said:
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age”. Matthew 28, 18-20
See you here, on Earth, or, along with Him, in Heaven.